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The SL’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The 488 doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.
The SL has standard NECK-PRO Head Restraints, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the NECK-PRO Head Restraints system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The 488 doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.
The SL has a standard Active Brake Assist, which uses forward mounted sensors to warn the driver of a possible collision ahead. If the driver doesn’t react and the system determines a collision is imminent, it automatically applies the brakes at full-force in order to reduce the force of the crash or avoid it altogether. The 488 doesn't offer collision warning or crash mitigation brakes.
An active infrared night vision system optional on the SL helps the driver to more easily detect people, animals or other objects in front of the vehicle at night. Using an infrared camera and near-infrared lights to detect heat, the system then displays the image on a monitor in the dashboard. The 488 doesn’t offer a night vision system.
The SL’s optional lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane and gently nudges the vehicle back towards its lane. The 488 doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.
The SL’s optional blind spot warning system uses digital cameras monitored by computer to alert the driver to moving objects in the vehicle’s blind spots where the side view mirrors don’t reveal them and moves the vehicle back into its lane. The 488 doesn’t offer a system to reveal objects in the driver’s blind spots.
The SL’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The 488 doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.
The SL has standard Mercedes-Benz Emergency Call, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to remotely unlock your doors if you lock your keys in, help track down your vehicle if it’s stolen or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The 488 doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.
Both the SL and the 488 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights and rear parking sensors.
The Mercedes SL weighs 463 to 959 pounds more than the Ferrari 488. The NHTSA advises that heavier cars are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.
The SL comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The 488’s 3-year/100,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year sooner.
The SL’s corrosion warranty is 2 years and unlimited miles longer than the 488’s (5/unlimited vs. 3/100,000).
There are almost 10 times as many Mercedes dealers as there are Ferrari dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the SL’s warranty.
The 488’s redline is at 8000 RPM, which causes more engine wear, and a greater chance of a catastrophic engine failure. The SL has a 6300 to 6500 RPM redline.
On the EPA test cycle the SL 550 V8 gets better fuel mileage than the 488 GTB w/Start Stop Auto (17 city/25 hwy vs. 16 city/22 hwy).
A nine-speed automatic is standard on the Mercedes SL, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a seven-speed automatic is available for the 488.
In an emergency stopping situation, many drivers don’t press the brakes with enough force to stop the vehicle in the shortest distance. The SL has a standard brake assist system to detect emergency braking situations (by how hard and how quickly the brake pedal is pressed) and then automatically apply maximum braking immediately in order to help prevent a collision. The 488 doesn’t offer a brake assist feature.
For better traction, the SL has larger front tires than the 488 (255/35R19 vs. 245/35R20).
The SL offers an available adjustable active suspension system, which counteracts cornering forces actively, limiting body roll and improving handling and stability. Ferrari doesn’t offer an active suspension on the 488.
The SL offers an optional automatic front and rear load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The 488 doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.
The SL has a larger trunk with its top down than the 488 Spider with its top down (8.5 vs. 8.1 cubic feet). The SL has a much larger trunk with its top up than the 488 Spider with its top up (13.5 vs. 10.2 cubic feet).
To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the SL’s trunk can be opened and closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The 488 doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its trunk, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.
The SL’s entire steering wheel hub sounds the horn, facilitating hitting the horn in an emergency. The 488 has two small spoke buttons. These buttons can be hard to reach in an emergency.
The SL has a standard remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The 488 doesn’t offer a remote starting system.
Unlike the driver-only memory system optional at extra cost in the 488, the SL has standard driver and passenger memory, so that when drivers switch, the memory setting adjusts the driver’s seat, steering wheel position, outside mirror angle and climate settings and the front passenger seat also adjusts to the new passenger’s preset preferences.
The SL’s standard easy entry system raises the steering wheel, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The 488 doesn’t offer an easy entry system.
The SL’s front and rear power windows all open or close with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside of the car. The 488’s passenger windows don’t close automatically.
The SL’s standard power window controls are mounted on the armrest for easy access. The 488’s available power window controls are spread out on the center console where they can’t be seen without the driver completely removing his eyes from the road.
If the windows are left open on the SL the driver can close them all at the outside door handle or from a distance using the remote (remote must be aimed at door sensor). On a hot day the driver can also lower the windows the same way. The driver of the 488 can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.
Keyless-Go standard on the SL allows you to unlock the driver’s door, trunk and start the engine all without removing a key from pocket or purse. This eliminates searching for keys before loading groceries, getting in the vehicle in bad weather or making a hurried start to your trip. The Ferrari 488’s Keyless Start doesn’t unlock the doors or the trunk.
Heated windshield washer fluid is standard on the SL to defrost the washer nozzles and quickly clear ice and frost from the windshield without scraping. The 488 doesn’t offer heated windshield washer fluid.
While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors standard on the SL detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The 488 doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.
To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the SL has standard extendable sun visors. The 488 doesn’t offer extendable visors.
The SL has standard heated front seats, which keep the driver and front passenger extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated seats aren’t available in the 488.
Optional air-conditioned seats in the SL keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The 488 doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.
To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the SL offers an optional Active Distance Assist Distronic, which alters the speed of the vehicle without driver intervention. This allows the driver to use cruise control more safely without constantly having to disengage it when approaching slower traffic. The 488 doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.
The SL’s optional Active Parking Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself. The 488 doesn’t offer an automated parking system.
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